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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    September 25, 2010
    2:00 - 6:00am EDT  

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critical unfinished task for researchers. earlier work that intended to incorporate credit into the study of economic fluctuations and the transmission and monetary policies represents one possible starting point. to give an example that i never particularly well, much my own research as an academic focused on the role of financial factors in propagating and amplifying the cycles. others have further developed the basic framework and look at the macroeconomic effect of the financial crisis. i am encourage to see the recent studies that have incorporated banking and credit creation in standard macroeconomic models. most of this work is still some distance from capturing the complex interactions of risk- taking, liquidity, and capital in our financial system. it would also be fruitful if
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macro economist with look more carefully at other countries. join us essential experience, international economist could examine the origins of the banking and currency crises in some detail. they have devoted considerable research tohe international contagion of financial crises, a related topic of obvious relevance to our recent experience. finally, macroeconomic modeling must accommodate the possibility of unconventional monetary policies and number of which have been used during the crisis. earlier work on this topic relies on the example of japan, now, unfortunately, we have more data points. the experience of the united states and the united kingdom with large-scale asset purchases could be explored this is that we can understand the affect of these transactions and how they could be incorporated into
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modern models. i began my remarks by drawing a distinction between the scientific, engineering, and managementspects of economics. for the most part, the financial crisis reflected problems in economic engineering and economic management. this private-sector arrangements, for exame risk management and funding, and the financial regulatory framework were flawed in design and execution. these witnesses were the primary reason that the financial crisis had its economic -- and its economic effects were so severe. disaers require urgent action to prevent repetition. engineers seek to enhance the reliability of a complex machin through improvements to basic design.
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economic policymakers efforts should proceed along analogous lines. first, the recent reform legislation has improve the design of the regulatory framework, closing important gaps such as the lack of oversight of the shadow banking system. likewise, in the private sector firms have taken significant . . y. second, to reduce the probability of severity of a future crisis, the system will be monitored more intensely. the recent legislation creates a financial stability oversight canceled made up of the heads of . . ulatory agencies. they will identify regulatory gaps and coordinate the efforts of the vario agencies. enhanced market discipline is the result of the new regime. a number of measures to increase
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as mayor terence c. -- to increase transparency will complement the oversight. we will work to make our financial system more resilience to shock. examples include rules that will strengthen key utilities, toughen bank capital and liquidity standards, and require that more derivative the estimas be standardized and traded to exchanges rather than over the counter. in economic engineering is effective only in combination with good economic management. for its part, the federal reserve has revamped its operations to provide more effective -- we are focused on risk to the
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system as a whole as well as risk to individual institutions. together, better designed a private, public sector framework for managing risk, better managing and supervision do not guarantee a crack -- a crises will not occurred. they should reduce the risk of crises and mitigate the effects. in short, the financial crisis did not discredit the usefulness of economic research and analysis by any means. both older and reset ideas drawn from economics have proven invaluable to policy makers attempting to diagnose and respond to the financial crisis. the crisis has raised an important question. as i have discussed today, more wo is needed on the behavior ofconomic agents in times of profound uncertainty.
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much of that work is already underway in the department of economics here at princeton. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. this was as good a capstone to the conference that took place today and a beginning of the conference that the starting right now. it will continue tomorrow. the students in the audience can extrapolate from this that this was a very good teacher of economics.
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it is a pretty interesting job that you have right now. the only thing i want to take issue with is that i can assure you that economics 101 has never been offered at 8:00 a.m. [laughter] that is an exaggeration. [laughter] a small sum. we have a lot more back up. [laughter] the floor is now open for questions. we'll start right here in the front. >> [inaudible]
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[laughter] could the questio be heard? >> no. >> the question was broadly about the fed balance sheets and the answers rate on long-term securities. what was the exit strategy, i suppose, would be one way to describe it. i am not sure i can answer that question. we are trying to opprsed
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conditions as they arise. i would first began by saying that the fed now has about $2.40 trillion balance sheet and with the exception of a small portion of that, it is not tox assets that we hold. we hd government guarantees securities. we hold mostly either treasury securities or fannie and freddie mortgage backed securities that have a government guarantee and are traded on liquid markets with the strong presumption of safety. the fed? she is actually try to secure from a credit perspective. the reason that we purchased the additional securities, and as you point out we purchased $1.50 trillion relative to our balance sheet was before the crisis -- had to do with the fact that
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conventional military policy methods ran out of room. we had reduced the federal funds rate which is the typical tool for monetary policy. we reduced it to its lowest level ever almost two years ago in december of 2008. as a result, this standard conventional monetary policy is no longer available. there was a view some years ago that was the short-term interest-rate was so severe that the central bank was out of ammunition. i argued that that was not the case. we demonstrated that there were other things the fed could do, in particular by buying mortgages backed securities and treasurys w did additionally stimulate the economy. the research supports that. we did that in a couple of ways.
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first, the purchases of reduced interest rates directly by raising the prices of the assets that we purchase. secondly, the with all of the supply from the market pushed investors. as we pulled mortgage-backed securities out of the market, investors who would normally like to hold a safe, liquid, longer-term fixed-income estimates moves into high- quality corporate bonds, thereby lowering yields over there. we have been able to, through this process, these financial conditions broadly above and beyond the usual policy of reducing short-term interest- rate. the reason we have such support for monetary policy is because the economy continues to need support. as you know, the recession was
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officially declared over as of last year. that just means that the economy is contracting. it has been growing, but not very quickly. we are using these too to support economi growth and to mainta price stability. we guessed that a lot of time -- and i think it is constructive because, for example, lower interest rates in the corporate bond world make it easy for firms to finance investments and to improve their balance sheets, which is mother to for growth. the day will come, as you indicated, when we have to exit from this situation. it is not a permanent state of affairs. we spent quite a bit of effort developing -- we have been quite creative in figuring out a wide range of tools we can use
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to exit from the situation over and above selling assets. we have found other ways we can tighten policy rates at the appropriate time. i want to be very clear, when we talk about extra set -- will we talk about exit strategies, it was never a point to say we were about to exit, rather it was important to say how we could exit so we would have the competence of investors in the public that we had control of the situation and we would be able to exit at the appropriate time. at some point the time will come. i do not know where that is. the time will come when the fed will normalize monetary policy. at that point, we have a list of toolthat will allow us to drain reserves from the system and normalize interest rates to bring us back to a more normal water policy. -- in normal monetary policy.
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>> is that correct? there is a microphone right behind you. >> think you for your remarks. i wanted to ask you briefly, in regards to the shattered banking system which he spoke at length about, what have we learned about -- what have we learned and what do we need to learn about how the -- about the traditional understandings of monetary policy. >> as i discussed in my remarks, the main problem -- there are many problems, but the single most important problem is we have a regulatory system which was designed fundamentally for
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the 1930's, which was a period when our financial system was essentially banks. there were some innovations and changes in financial regulate -- regulation. we tried to monetize the financial regulatory system. unfortunately the animation in the system which created the use of off-balance sheetunding and the use -- and original as the distribute model which brought subprime mortgagesnd the securitization of vehicles which were sold with aaa ratings, all these things have developed and were innovations that were either not cover appropriately by the the financial regulatory system or were not addressed
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adequately might regulators and not by the private sector either. one reason for that besides the fact that there were gaps in the structure that did not keep up with the innovation is that our system was designed to the -- regulators were focused on individual institutions. a bank regulator might say that the bank get rid of the subprime mortgages and everything is fine. the question is where? there was nobody looking at the whole system and try to figure out how to change the regulatory response as these innovations occurred. the shadow banking system had is particular problems with credit quality and with funding. those were at the heart of the crisis.
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although they were a direct ways for vaous regulators to look at parts of the system -- for example, bank regulators to look at the off-balance the vehicles -- our system simply did not catch those problems. the shot that hit the system -- the shot that hit the system allowed it to become severe. what is new and different about our regulatory approach is going forward as was captured in the new legislation and in the new federal reserve practices is that from now on we are going to be much more aware of the system. what risks are emerging that could bring down the overall
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financial system? we have a bunch of mechanisms to do that. we had the oversight council. within the federal resve, we are restructuring our supervisions. we have explicit attention to the whole system. financial stability is the primary goal. that change in perspective and the new skills we are bringing in, -- nothing is ever guaranteed. the system is complex and this can happen. but this will give us a fighting chance to identify any problems that arise as the system evolves and innovates. >> a question right here on the aisle. >> thank you. what i am is wondering, ihink the next financial crisis will have to do with the social security trust fund. it is my understanding that the social security trust fund has been added to the 1.3 jy in dollar deficit.
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i am wondering if there are any plans to rescind the upper end, limits for social security. i have asked ts question of everyone from washington. i think it is important that we pay tention to this now. 14% of americans 65 and over depend upon what better% from social security, about another 50% -- i am woering if that is something that y be addressed? >> there is a much more general, broad based problem in which the security is part and that is the long-term fiscal stability of the u.s. government. every analysis done by every responsible party of any stripe, including the congressional budget office and the office of management and budget's and everyone else, shows that on current policies, the u.s.
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deral debt will become unsustainable within a few decades. that is a very serious concern and one that needs to be addressed. as i once put it, the only all that i want to stand up for is the law of arithmetic which says that the deficit is equal to the difference between spending and taxes. you have to figure out some combination of spending and taxes that adds up. the question then is what they do to tryo address these long- term deficits. ultimately, it is a decision for the american people and for the congress. the federal reserve does not make fiscal policy. we do not advise, at least on specific aspects of this policy. an issue that will have to be addressed is the issue of
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entitlements. we have an aging population, we have a situation where no costs are rising more quickly than incomes -- where medical costs are rising more quickly than incomes. all the entitlement programs together in not too many years will be the entire federal budget. most peoplbelieve that in order to solve the long-term fiscal issues, we will have to do something about entitlements one way or another. social security is actually a much more manageable program than medicare, medicaid, etc. there have been a lot this suggestions about how to address that problem. the president appointed a commission that is supposed to report later this year. one of the things they may be looking at, i do not know personally, will be tools for
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stabilizing the long-term finances of social security. there are lots of ways to do that. one thing i would say in relation to your question is that i trust that if they make any changes, they will not make changes that affect people who are already retired or close to retirement. obvisly those people are dependent or have not had time tolan. it is unlikely that those changes would have significant impacts on our deficit in the next few years. will see what they come up with. that is one area where they may want to look. the budget is a big thing as lots of other components as well. >> one last question. right over there. i cannot see who it is. >> thank you, chairman. what the things you mentioned it was the fact that all the deep
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recession is officially over, the economy is growing slowly. earlier, you said there was some uncertainty about the economy. an interesting manifestation of this is the fact that among your colleagues there seems to be a wider variety of opinion i am thinking about the distinction between government science -- economic science in economic management, your colleagues of a different view of how the world works. what is it that you think about the fed having a more optimistic view about where the economy is going than others in the economy? is the question one of a difference bweenow this will work? on the receiving different information? what is it that the fed is saying that is not being seen in
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the market that makes you more optimistic than some survey measures and market expectations and things like that? >> first of all i would stay your premise a little bit. you can try to defer what markets thing by looking at things -- you can try to infer what markets think by looking at inflation rates in things like that. thosere barry didn't -- indirect references. the reflect a whole range of vis that are being abrogated in the market process. you look at private sector forecasters, they are typically qualitatively as similar to what the federal reserve believes on a quarterly basis. i do not think it is really true that the fed is more
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optimistic than private-sector forecasters. i think they are pretty comparable for the most part. in particular, we have followed the view that most private- sector forecasters have. since the spring, there has been something a slowing within the economy. that is something we have taken careful note of. the question about why it is lowe is a good question. we have a lot of evidence that recovery is that followed a financial crisis tend to be slower than oer recoveries. unfortunately this is an observation that comes from looking at lots of different experiences. it is not necessarily tell you why. it could be that financial crises lead to slower recoveries
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because of the head winds created by be leveraging, by bad assets, but problems in the banking system. i am sure there is some of that. we try to incorporate that in our forecasting. there could be some episodes in the past where governments and policymakers were not aggressive enough in fixing their financial systems. the federal reserve has been quite aggressive. we try to be very proactive, both in addressing financial issues and in addressing the macro economy. we hope for better results. certainly it is the case that given the tremendous blow that our financial system took, i think it could havbeen much worse. we avoided what could have been a global meltdown.
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even so, we got a taste of how powerful a financial crisis is on real activity. that blow which not the world economy into a deep recession in the second half of 2008, we are only recovering from back a pace slower than we would like. >> we will continue to monitor this and do our best to understand. i think it is an issue that all forecasters at of those that would be making investments are faced with, there are many aspects of this episode that are not the same as previous episodes. we have to draw inferences based on what we have seen and using economic science that i discussed in my remarks. >> thank you, stay aggressive. [laughter] please join me in thanking ben bernanke. [applause]
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>> tomorrow, on washington journal, a look at election strategies ndp party movement with timothy kearney. also, the future of the united nations with bruce jones. and later, a look at american's view of what constitutes a family by brian powell. that is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> saturday night, a dinner hosted by the log cabin republicans, an advocacy organization for gays and lesbians. speakers include several republican members of congress as well as clever norquist.
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that is that a 30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. -- 8:30 p.m. eastern here on c- span. saturday, on both tv, live coverage at 9:30 a.m. eastern with events in your phone calls. for it listing of all airtimes, go to booktv.org. >> house speaker nancy pelosi brief reporters today and answered questions about the timing of extending bush tax cuts. this is 15 minutes. >> a good morning. it looks le you are all getting quite used to this new
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room. nice to see you here. especially today because we are so pleased with what happened yesterday in the congress, we were able to smash -- passed a small business credit act that will create 500,000 new jobs, leverage $300 billion in credit for small businesses. it is all paid for. i was pleased and honored to sign yet yesterday in e senate on to the president -- and send it on to the president. we could not get much republican support for the legislation. while they were talking about small business here, they were voting against credit. this is about main street, making it in america where our small businesses that are the creator of jobs and the surveyor of capital. it is the biggest growing
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sector of the minority-owned businesses. it enables us to make it in america, manufacture it here, and enable people to make it in america. it was also the six-month anniversary of the health care reform bill. many provisions came into effect yesterday. no longer will a child can be denied coverage because he or she has a pre-existing medical condition. that is for children. if you are under 26, have graduated from college or college, just graduated from college, and have a job, if that job doesn't have health insurance, you can go on to your parent's policy. that is up to you and your
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parents, but the policys d the law will be that you will go on to your parents policy. we have lifted a lifetime limits. some little children have already exhausted the lifetime limit on their insurance coverage. at is over. preventive care, prevention is a ve important part of the heth care bill. these and other provisions went into effect yesterday. the president made the point, the secretary of hhs came to the congress to tell us how these provisions are being implemented. i want to congratulate both the president and the secretary for how it is being implemented. at the same time, republicans want to appeal the bill. it will cost $1.30 trillion because that is what the savings are in the bill. what that means in the lives of
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ordinary americans, they would be revealing some of what i jt talked about. the ending of discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions. the list goes on. with that, i think this show the difference between -- what the choices in the election, democrats are for making it in america, republicans are for shipping jobs overseas. democrats are for preserving social security, republicans are for privatizing it. senate republicans tell us how much they will see as people in amica. as has been said, i am the leader of -- , we are not going back to the way they were before. we're going to make progress for
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america's workinfamilies. i will be pleased to take any questions you might have. >> i tried to find the people that are always sort of there at my door, because i wt them to have the first in. >> the senate has decided to postpone a vote on the issue of middle-class tax cuts, can the house -- will the house work for it? >> will retain the right to preed as we have chosen, one day at a time. let me be very clear. as we have all been clear and house democratic leadership. america opping middle-class will have a tax cut. it will be done in this congress. there is no question about that. >> house republicans are pledging to repeal obama care.
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will u.s. democratic house members and candidates pledged to be pro obama-care? >> i think these pledges are a lot of showboats. i don't like to take them at a deadline to exact them. but what the democrats have said, we have passed legislation to make health care affordable, quality health care in our country, a right and not a privilege. we are ending discrimination and we are ending at lifetime limits for coverage that people have, we're saying to young people, reach your aspirations, take your time to do it. you can stay until you're 26 years old. the list goes on and on and cludes saving the taxpayer $1.30 trillion according to the congressional budget offic
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if that is something they want to take a pledge to do, that is up to them. our members have stated where they are on it, they stand by at, and they are great advocates for it. >> surprisingly, a number of members of both parties have stated they would like to go home. >> do you want to go home? >> what are they different pressures you're getting, and at is going into your calculus on that? >> we can't go home until we have a continuing resolution. that is what we're putting together now, and when we have that, we can make a decision as to when we go ho. we can't go home until we have that. this from moment, i think we have considered -- we have had a full agenda and the congress.
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we continue to pass important legislation as we did yesterday with the small-business bill. we will take up a few items next week. the end of the fiscal year, september 30, it is all about work to be finished by the end of theiscayear. yes? >> will the house follow the scent and pass a bill that uses food stamp money to pay for child nutrition? >> the child nutrition legislation is indeed a top priority for the first lady, and i will commend her for her leadership. she will give visibility to this issue that is really unmatched. the be matched by the president, but i will leave it there. i thank her for her leadership. we are working on how we perceive what that legislation
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-- we will have an aouncement soon. >> there are a lot of democrats that think you're sort of cutting one safety net to pay for another. >> i am not pleased with using food stamps in the legislation. there are those that have looked at food stamp money for purpose that are not consistent with nutrition and health of our children. i think we will be able to come up with that approach that accomplishes what the first lady set out to do, and to do so in a timely fashion, because it is overdue. >> he said he retained the right to proceed as you want, but is there any of electoral consequences if you go home without doing something, even if we don't know the fate of what ever you could pass in the senate? >> the president of the united states, barack obama has spoken very clearly about that.
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it is a tax cut for everyone in america. the cut has not increased. the president has been very clear. 200 and 250 is the number. members overwhelmingly support that. there is a new person in our caucus that is for the -- there n't a person in our caucus that is not for tax cuts for the middle class. we're all very strong on that. they can go home and talk about their commitment to that, especially with the leadership of president obamaeing out there. >> i know you like to talk about politics, let me ask you about a
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new poll out today. an predent's rating is at all-time low, and americans favor republican candidates. what do think about how president obama will be at factor, or whether he will be a drag on democrats. >> i don't know what that poll is, but you have one poll and another poll, where weere up three or four points today in the eight people. the only one that matters is election day. more important to that right now is how the members are doing in their individual districts. they're doing just fine. i feel very confident that our members are the best people for eir jobs. the house communicates with their districts, and they are doing just that. they are doing just fine. members have the president come
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to the district. there is not enough time for him to be able to respond to all of those requts. i am certain he will go to some of those districts. we are comfortable where we are, regardless of what that poll may be. as i have said to you, we win these races one district at a time. and we watched them very carefully. we're very pleased with where it is going. >> another thingou frequently say is when republicans attack you, he tell us some variation of people want to do personal attacks when they can't win on the issues. why is your party so focused on john boehner? we are not focused on him. you have asked those people that are focused on him. e're focused on our record, and
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the focus on his statement, what do they say? we're not going to be any different than we have been the focus is on that because it clearly puts forth what the choice is in this election. we climbed out of t deep recession, and he wants too back to, we're not going to be any different. we will either go forward with reform of wall street, they want to go back with repealing wall street reform. the list goes on. when a statement is made that we're not going to do anything different, that clearly defines the choice in the election and that is what the focus is. what ever comments some might have made about him, i don't think you could in any way compare its to the money that is being spent on the ads across
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the country, personally attacking me. it just goes to show that they don't have anything to offer, and the polls indicate that over and over again. who cares about people like me? overwhelmingly, the american people say that the democrats care about people like them. we go in this election not to go back to the past except if u're going to say as the recession has said, the exact same agenda and we are not going to be any difrent -- i am reading it said that i don't misread for a moment. we're saying we're going forward. this president came into office when this country was in deep recession. if we had not taken actions we had taken, we have saved or
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created 3.6 million jobs. her initiatives, the economists tell us we have 8.5 million more people unemployed. the deficit would be much bigger than what we have even inherited from the bush administration. in the unemployment rate would be 14.5%. that is a depression. the president has pulled us out of the ditch, out of the path to recession, the depression that the republicans took us on. the choice is to go back to that, they are not doing anything different as they have said. or to continue to a path of job creation, deficit reduction, and a reduction of taxes for the middle-class. that is e choice in the election. if the leader makes a statement
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that we're not going back, you can be sure that that will be part of the contrast. this is a pretty exciting election, because we're very proud of the agenda. we're proud of his leadership. our members are confident about their participation in it, and in each and every district, they're beating a drum about taking us in a new direction. we're going forward, fighting for the middle class, preserving socl security, not privatizing it, not transferring jobs overseas, a her having tax cuts for the middle class, not for the wealthy to take us deeper into debt. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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in >> tomorrow on washington journal, a look at the republican election strategy and the tea party movement. also, the future of the party with bruce jones. and later, a look at american's view of what constitutes a family with brian powell, an author. that is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> i really underestimated the job. i had been the republican minority whip. i had not even been the minority leader. i join for minority whip to speak for overnight. it was a minority that no one
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thought would be in power. it was the biggest one-party increase in history. >> newt gingrich on his tenure as house speaker, the state of american politics today and a possible 2012 presidential bid. that is sunday on c-span. >> japan's prime minister spoke -- spoke to members that the united nations general assembly. he spoke about development, climate change, nuclear disarmament and peace keeping efforts. the prime minister made no mention of the recent territorial disputes between japan and china. this is about 20 minutes. this is about 20 minutes.
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mr. president, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, i extend my heartfelt congratulations to his excellency mr. joseph deiss on assuming the presidency of the sixty-fifth session of the united nations general assembly. i also express my appreciation to his excellency dr. ali abdussalam treki for his efforts in the previous session. i would like to express my respect as well to his excellency secretary-general ban ki-moon for his leadership. ban ki-moon for his leadership. as in 65 years since the creation of the united nations of the united nations, both the world and japan have undergone tremendous change. japan's role in the international community and the vision of society the nation seeks to achieve have also changed with time. through this address, i hope to share with you my thinking on japan's contribution and to appeal for a wide range of cooperation toward resolution of challenges. at this time, the international community is facing a senes of challenges that include poverty,
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hunger, infectious diseases, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, regional conflicts, global environmental issues. >> is an honor to have this opportunity to share with you opportunity to share with you the role that japan should play the primary role of the leader of the country should be to create a society in which human suffering is reduced to a minimum i believe that it is the duty of world political leaders to minimize sources of human
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suffering such as poverty, disease and conflict. with this philosophy in mind, i shall now discuss japan's contributions in four areas, development, the global environment, nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in peacekeeping and peace building. mr. president, the first area of contribution is assisting the development of the developing countries. after the second world war, japan achieved economic reconstruction owing in part to international assistance. later, through rapid economic growth, japan became more of the major economic powers. with hot spots such history
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behind, japan cannot overlook the realities of the world today where of billions people-we're a billion people scuffle. billion people scuffle. japan attaches a great importance to achieving the mdgs. in particular, it is extremely important from the perspective of eradicating poverty that children, the supporters of the future society, grow up in health and are given opportunity to receive education. with this thought, i attended the mdg summit the day before yesterday and announced the new contributions in the health and education areas as the "kan commitment". commitment". we provide 5 billion u.s. dollars to help the assistance
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and 3.5 billion u.s. dollars in education assistance over the course of five years. our commitment in the area of health includes a contribution of up to $800 million to the global fund to fight aids and malaria. in the area of education, we will provide a high-quality environment for education. japan will continue to deliver assistance in accordance with u.n. security and lead the efforts of the international committee towards meeting the in dg -- mdgs. japan intends to convene in japan next year in order to strengthen the core mission around a broad range of stakeholders including governments, international organizations and ngos.
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reinforcing assistance to africa in particular, where this is slow. attaining the mdgs africa is an important pillar. japan is enhancing its effort in this field. in order to do this, they are doubling and providing support. the second area is the global environment. at the u.n. summit on climate change, japan announced a target
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of reducing emissions by 25% by 200020 compared to the 2000 level. all major economies participated. [unintelligible] there is a new legally binding document and we will continue to
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coordinate with other states and the united nations to lead international organizations with this. it will also support countries in the negative impact and those that are taking mitigating measures such as reducing emissions in a partnership with the public and private sectors. next month, there was a theme of living in harmony with nature. at this meeting, we must come to agreement on commencing new actions in order to halt the loss of biodiversity. the biggest challenges in this field are setting a common
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global target and establishing a new international benefit sharing as related to genetic resources. as chair of the meeting, japan is devoted to play an important role in these efforts for the mr. president, a third contribution is nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation to read i believe that the invention of a nuclear weapon and subsequent threat to the survival of the human race is man's undoing is not within the region. japan is the only country that has ever suffered the devastation of an atomic bomb and has the moral responsibility to take the steps to realize that a world without a nuclear weapon. japan is determined to lead the international community in these endeavors.
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in hiroshima and nagasaki, every year, for the past 65 years, services have been held to hold a world without nuclear weapons. we visited japan in august of this year and for the first to attend. i would like to thank the secretary general for making this visit. a representative from the united states was in attendance. i very much welcomed that decision which will continue to raise momentum towards a world without nuclear weapons. japan bears and a sluggish boston responsibility to hand down to future generations and awareness of the catastrophic nature of nuclear weapons.
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i decided to appoint someone as a special communicator to a world without nuclear weapons to a this was about the horror of the use of nuclear weapons. only those with firsthand experience can convey this. japan will coordinate with other countries to promote education on disarmament and nonproliferation issues. we developed a resolution. this was subsequently adopted in the general assembly with the united states as a co-sponsor for the first time. japan is determined to continue its efforts to strengthen support for the international community. implementation of the agreement in may is essential. japan and australia have
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coasted a foreign ministers' meeting on nonproliferation. they have launched a new group dedicated to working towards a world without nuclear weapons. we intend to deep in discussions on reducing the role and number of nuclear weapons in the world. i must make reference to the democratic people's republic of korea and iran. their programs pose a threat to the entire community. japan urges the dp arcade-the dprk to follow resolutions and join talks. moreover, resolutions by all
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member states is essential. japan has not altered its intention to comprehensively resolve the outstanding issues of concern settling the past and normalizing relations in accordance with such. . .
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that we can observe all four of our witnesses. if the press cannot do so, that will be asked to leave the room. i would like to welcome our witnesses, members of the immigration subcommittee, and others who joined us today. the subcommittee's hearing on protecting america's hardest. the american agricultural sector has long suffered from a lack of available u.s. workers to grow and pick america's fruits and vegetables. even in today's tough economic climate, whether we like or not, insufficient and continually do -- decreasing number of u.s. workers willing to fill manual agriculture jobs. america's farmers are dependent on a reliable work force to produce our domestic food supply, and today's forms are
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struggling to stay in business as a result of current labor challenges. today's hearing will explore the labor needs of our nation's agricultural sector, its attempts to recruit u.s. workers for agricultural labor, the problems with r current visa program for agricultural workers, and potential solutions. one explanation for why american workers may now be unwilling to engage in manual formwork when they were willing to do so decades ago may live in our improving educational system. havee 1940's and 1950's, the native-born work force did not have a high school diploma. last number in -- last year that number was 5.7%. the difficulty has been highlighted by the united farmworkers take our jobs, please, campaign. the campaign in by its unemployed americans to use the u.s. government's assistance to obtain employment as
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farmworkers. according to the u.s. -- usw, even in a time of high unemployment, only seven u.s. workers have agreed to actually work in the field as of today. i have been a longtime advocate for farmworkers and growers. when i was on the santa clara county board of supervisors in the 1980's, and works closely with the united farm workers and the farm bureau. i spent time on many farms. recently at the invitaon of the usw, i spent the day picking strawberries at a farm near my district. they also invited me to pick a day picking expended day picking vegetables on a farm in new york wi stephen colbert. i want to thank the usw present for inging us together on this important issue. i would like to admonish the audience before i continue my statement that we need to maintain order and decorum thughout these proceedings,
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and to that end, i would like to remind all of the visitors in the audience that they should refrain from any manifestation of approval or disapproval of these proceedings or any other disruptive actions. if necessary, the capitol police are here to remove anyone who disrupts the hearing, but we certainly hope that will be necessy. part of what i learned over the years is that without a sufficient u.s. labor force, u.s. farmers have increasingly relied on undocumented workers. according to the department of labor, over 50% of all seasonal agricultural workers are undocumented. experts believe that due to underreporting, that number m actually be closer to 75%. critics argue that the shortage of u.s. agricultural workers could be solved by simply increasing wages and working conditions. as a longtime an ardent supporter of farmworkers, i would like nothing better, but we must also face the reality that the nation's grocers compete with farmersrom around
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the world in this increasingly globalized world. increasing wages and benefits in an amount necessary to track millions of educated workers to the fields would mean increased production costs that could render u.s. food products and competitive with imported products. american firms wld then close, in turn resulting in the offshore in of tens of millions of agriculture and related jobs. this is already happening. when farms close, our country suffers. we lose the millions of so- called upstream and downstream jobs connected to those jobs, whether processing, packaging, transportation, feed production, manufacturing,
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accounting, advertising. these jobs are overwhelmingly feel by u.s. workers, get these jobs disappear when forms are closed. economists believe that for every form job loss, the u.s. loses another 3.1 complementary jobs. aside from a loss of millions of jobs, the closure of american forms endangers the natn's economy and national security. our national security depends on our ability to produce a stable domestic crude supply. like oil, the more we rely on other countries for our food supply, the more recall victim to an increase trade debt, scarcity in times of drought, fluctuating eckstrom mart prices, and political pressure. we would also increase the possibility of foodbornellness is and terrorist attack your nation's food supy. the security is national security. america cannot afford to stop producing its own food supply, and we need the labor force to do so. today we will hear from our panel of witnesses to better
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understand this complex and very important issue for americans, american jobs, our economy, and our national security. people in the media spotlight have a special ability to focus public opinion on an issue, whether bono talking about third world party or angelina jolie advocating for protecting children against human trafficking, the power of media figures to use their celebrity to focus attention on the essential public issues is well known and well regarded. i am happy that stephen colbert has joined that region of celebrities who will use their media position to benefit others. as you can see from mr. colbert's written testimony, he has takethe time to walk in issues of migrant farmworkers, and he urges reforms of our immigration laws. i am happy that the united farmworkers introduce me to mr. colbert, who i h not met before, so we could spend a day on a farm together.
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his actions are a good emple of how using both levity and fame, a media figure can bring attention to a critically important issue for the good of the nation. appreciate all of our witnesses' efforts to be with us today and their leadership in this area, and i hope that together we can find solutions to these pressing problems. i would now recognize our distinguisd ranking member, stephen king, for his opening statements. >> i appreciate being recognized, and i am wondering how the eskimos got along for all those centuries without fresh fruit and vegetables if it is a national securitissue. i would like to focus my remarks on protecting american workers. illegal iigration, the lack of enforcement of our immigration laws, and today's job depression have formed a perfect score for hurting americans. the most important duty of the subcommittee is that we ensure our nation's immigration policy
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lives of americans, not hold them down. i find it hard to understand why some people carelessly claim that americans won't be hard work. i fin this claim insulting, as i am sure most are working americans do. it is most insulting to those brave american soldiers to voluntarily risk their lives to defend our freedom and way of life every day. the men and women that have gone terrorist in iraq and afghanistan, travel miles across the desert withundreds of pounds of gear for about $8 an hour. that includes the marines. maybe we should be spending less time watching comedy central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there, ones that require real hard labor and don't involve sitting behind a desk. every day, american workers perform the dirtiest, most difficult, most dangerous jobs that can be thrown at them. from crab fisherman that venture into the rough is dangerous in the world, to that joe the
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plumber's of the world, who in many days would prefer the aroma of fresh dirt to that of sewerage from american in elitist who disparage them even as they flush. these are real americans doing real jobs, a task that simply must get done. when american workers are treated with respect and paid for the labor, they will do any job and outwork anyone on earth. on to agriculture. i represent rural district made up mostly of farmers and farm communities, and people buy when know what it takes to manage and effectively run a farm. one issue with attracting more workers to seasonal agricultural labor is that most my bra workers are consigned to perpetual poverty. -- most migrant workers are consigned to perpetual poverty. it is argued by the secretariat agriculture that food prices
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would be up to five times more if it were not for illegal immigrant workers. this is blatantly false and cannot be supported by any data. he does not bother to defend himself. data from the department of agriculture and the bureau of labor statistics show that labor costs only represents 6% of the price consumers pay for fresh fruits and vegetables. you could double the pay of workers and see only a 6% increase in the price to coumers. if there was a 40% increase in farm wages, the average household would spend only $8 more a year on fruits and vegetables, less than the price of a movie ticket. i am sure most americans would pay $8 more a year to ensure a legal work force. the reality is, employers hire desperate aliens w will work for much less than americans, driving wages down and making it
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impossible for american workers to compete. as ranking member smith has pointed out, there are 8 million illegal immigrants in the work force competing against the 15.4 million americans who are officially counted as unemployed, which includes the 80 million who are simply not in the work force because they have dropped out and are no longer looking for jobs. americans have given up looking for those jobs because wages ha been depressed and job opportunities eliminated by a very -- very mobile immigration. a professor will testify about the toll mass emigration is taking on minority communities. all of this started happening well before the recession. a professor at harvard universityid groundbreaking resech on the impact of immigration in the 1980's and 1990's on low-skilled american
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workers. other researchers at the center for labor market studies at northeastern university found in 2005 that given large job losses among the nation's teenagers, a 20-24-year-old without a degree, black males and poorly educated native born men, it is clear that native-born workers have been displaced in recent years because of immigration. it is amazing to me that and as the advocate simply ignore that 80 million labor pool. we can either feed, clothe, and house them, or put them to work to feed and clothe the world. the current economic crisis magnifies the impact on american workers and families. unless emigration policies are changed, they willontinue to be undermined even after the economy turns the corner. the heritage foundation found that the average household headed by an arrogant without a high-school degree -- by an immigrant, receives over $19,000
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in benefits more than they pay in taxes. cheap labor. i think about the day that i had to swim out into a sewer lagoon and dive into 9 feet of wood to retrieve a pot. -- 9 feet of water to retrieve a pump. it is an iult to me to hear that americans won't do this work. i cannot think of a job i have not been willing to do, and i cannot think of an eloyee i have had in 28 years of construction that refuse to do the wo. americans will do the work, but they want to be paid respectable ys to do it. >> with the agreement of the minority, we are recognizing the author theag jobs bill, mr.
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berman, for his statement. >> thank you very much, madame chair, and thank you very much for holding a hearing which perhaps like few others will highlight the conditions of migrant farm workers in this countrand turn attention to this critical issue. i thank the chair and the ranking member of the committee. this is an issue i have been focused on for 40 years. in the last 10 years, with each session introduced bipartisan legislation to try and deal with this issue. unfortunately, because i chair another committee, i have a hearing at 10:00 so i appreciate the courtesy extended to let me
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jump in line here. i am going to forgo my opening statement, but i simply must respond to the comments of the ranking member on this particular issue. there is nothing that the chair said, nothing implicit in the take our jobs campaign, explicit or implicit, that said americans are not doing hard work. if the gentleman from iowa were deeply concerned about the conditions on the farms and the wages, i would have noticed more activity to ensure that a number of laws that apply to all other workers in america apply with equal force to the people who pick or fruits and vegetabs in th country. i would see an effort to push
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greater appropriations and greater funding for people to monitor the working conditions on our farms. i would see an effort to try and get the rights that all other workers have to collective bargaining extended to form workers who are excluded from our national collective bargainingegislation. the fact is that while americans over and over again have produced -- have shown both their courage and willingness to undertake terribly difficult jobs, jobs that i would dare to say the people on this podium, including myself, would be very reluctant to take, study after study, including studies at the time of welfare reform, where huge numbers of people were going to be forced off the welfare rolls, in counties where unemployment was two or three times the average of the country generally, people would rather
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have no income and n welfare and take the backbreaking jobs -- then take the backbreaking jobs that the migrant farm worker has to do every single day. there is a problem here. you can try and cheap seat it want, but were it not for immigrant farm workers in this country, there would be no seasonal fresh fruit and vegetable industry. i join the gentleman wanting better wages and better working conditions, and we should do everything we can to try and improve those conditions. the facts are the facts. study after study has demonstrated that these jobs are not taken by u.s. workers, even when they have no other means of support.
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i commend the gentle lady for holding this hearing. i want to pay special recognition to my friend, the president of the united farmworkers, and the other witnesses as well. i hope to come back when my hearing is over, but i apologize for not being able to be here for the entire hearing. >> mr. smith. >> thank you. american workers faced tough economic times. jo have become scarce and millns of families are hurting. there are more than 7 million
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illegal workers in the united states. a clinton administration i nsa official and now deputy commissioner for refugees -- admit how many illegal workers there are. this has had consequences that are devastating. american workers are unemployed, forced to work part-time, or too discouraged to look for work. for native born african americans without a high-school degree, the rate is 43%. we could make millions of jobs available to american citizens and legal immigrants if the federal government simply enforced our immigration laws. about half of migration workers
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are illegal immigrants. that means a substantial number of illegal workers labor in the field, perhaps as many as half. and certnly more would take jobs if the wages and working conditions were better. the most effective means we have to save jobs for americans are u.s. immigration and customs enforcement work site actions. each time they detained and deported an illegal worker, they created opportunities for an american worker. each time they sanction an employer, it sends a clear message that illegal workers will not be tolerated. unfortunately, this administration is turning its back on american workers. administrative arrests have fallen 79% since 2008. criminal arrests up fallen 62%. it is hard to conceive of a worse time to cut worksite enforcement efforts by more than half, and yet that is what the
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obama administration has done. the department of homeland security will tell you that they have increased the number of works by audits of employers. employers consider the small fines or the cost of doing business. what happens to the illegal workers? they walk down the street and take another job that could have gone to an american worker. citizens and legal immigrants should not be forced to compete for scarce and jobs with illegal immigrants. the imam administration should put the interests of american workers -- the obama administration should but the interests of american workers first. steven cole there has shed light on the issue but -- stephen colbert has shed light on the the issue of immigrant workers. he asked, do not want cheap labor -- do we not want cheap
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labor doing the jobs americans do not want to do it? he added, yes, unless you are an american landsper or construction worker. fortunately, in a tv host, so my job is safe. it is no laughing matter to pretend that americans do not want jobs. do not insult american workers by telling them the government cares more about illegal workers than u.s. citizens. thank you. i will yield back. >> mr. conyers will be recognized for any oning statement he may wish to give at this time. >> i would like to propose to
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mr. king that we formed this committee so that we could have everybody worked very qckly. between you and i, we could probably recruit hundreds of thousands of people and solve this problem, even though the farm workers could not do it, senator feinstein was not successful. you say it is pretty easy, so i would like to work with you on this. what do you say? >> i appreciate you yielding to me. i have a actually recruited farmworkers and hired them and paid them. i had to raise the wages and benefits in order to attract people. i know that migrants go to california for jobs. if you raise the wages, the workers will show up, the legal workers will show up. >> so, the answer is yes? >> i would be happy to do that. hopefully we can consider the
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labor is a commodity like corn or beans and that supply and demand will establish its value in the marketplace. >> you would not have any objection to them being organized members of the union? >> i think if you want to market your skills as a worker in america, you do it the way u best can. >> thank you. see youfter the hearing. we will get started. and now to stephen colbert, whom i enjoy and have for many years. you have helped us build a room. i have not seen this and carries a sense, when -- this many cameras sense, a plan? >> maybe it was impeachment.
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>> on haunting remembrance. here is what i will suggest so that we can get to the bottom of this. mr. colbert has presented us with a fine statement. it will be entered into the wreckage -- into the record. he has a huge march coming up in washington which many people are going to be at, i know. i have a very good feeling about that i will be busy working in michigan, trying to turn out the vote. we have been having very low voter turnout. that is the only reason i will not be with you in the march. but i would like to recommend now that we have all this
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attention, that you excuse yourself and let us get on with the three witnesses and all of the other members there. we are sure it will be shown on the show tonight, and maybe nday. you run your e show. we run the committee. what do you say to that? >> i do not understand the question. >> i am not asking you not to talk. i am asking you to leave the committee room completely and submit your statent instead. >> mr. chairman, i am wondering crophone. colbert's
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is not on. he cannot be heard. i think he can ponder what you said. i think many are eager to hear his comments. >> that is fr enough. >> i am here at the invitation of the chairwoman. if she would like me to remove myself from the hearing room, i am happy to do so. i am only here at her invitation. >> that is good enough. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> we will now hear from mr. lundgren who will make an opening statement. in the interest of proceeding to our witnesses, we will invite other members to submit their statements for the record. >> thank you.
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have been working on this issue for some 30 years. i confess that i was the republican floor manager for the simpson-mazzoli bill. i thought that time that we had presented a reasonable solution to the problem of immigration. unfortunately, what was supposed to be co one time program -- supposed to be a one time program, had a total failure in respect to enforcement. the seasonal agricultural worker and rick punishment agricultural worker progrs -- and replenishment agricultural worker programs were repeated with fraud, which some people suggest it would happen when we proposed that section of the bill. since that time because of a
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lack of enforcement by the federal government, we have seen the continuation of the flow of illegal immigration into this country to a larger dimension data wasn the 1980's. at the same time, we have the highest rate of unemployment i have seen in my lifetime. california has a higher unemployment rate in all 50 states. it is a severe problem. i have agriculture in my district and i he urban areas in my district. it seems to me that we ought to be -- we ought to put all the facts on the table and understa that there are different segments of our economy, most of which in my opinion, can sucssfully attract american workers. i see no reason right now for
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the presumed or assumed lack of opportunities for african- american young males in the construction trade. i see no evidence whatsoever in the area of construction or landscaping that there is a need for foreign workers. i think the intelligent thing for us to do is establish a law that would allow us to look, economic sector by economic sector, and make a determination through our government as to whether or not there is a need for farmworkers. i have never worked in the fields. i worked on ranches. i worked in construction. working in shipyards. it is all tough work. i doubt it is as tough as the work have seen individuals in the farm fields do. it is really tough work. being from california, i happen to believe there is evidence that we cannot attract
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sufficient americans for agricultural purposes. i have always protest that we have to establish a program that works, and that the american people determine through their elected officials the condor's of, and that on an annual basis we'd make a determination as to how many people are needed in this country. one of the problems with the proposed bill is separate -- is that it provides a path to citizenship as a major tenant of this program. i do not think that is necessary. the reason i say that is this. there is an essenal notion in r society, a belief from the time in schoolyards and beyond that that cutting in line is unfair. i have to ask the people from
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countries who followed a lot -- th law, what does it say to them if they get put behind those who were not following the law? i think we c reach a satisfactory conclusion to this if we recognized that enforcement the past was not there and therefore encouraged continuing illegal immigration. a failure to have a workable temporary worker program has caused some of the probl that we have, and i think thirdly, that you do not have to have an amnesty component in the program. there are other ways we can treat people humanely and deal with this problem. i fear, madam chair, that if we have this as a component of any legislation that we have, the american people will not support it and we will fail to deal with
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a real challenge. among all of the issues that we have, we always see that we also have the backdrop of the threat of terrorism. i am not and never have suggested that the people here illegally are terrorists, but the longer you have a porous border, the greater you have a chance that terrorists will take advantage of that. that is not something we had to deal with the 1984-1986 the way we have to deal with today. madam chair, thank you. i also thank mr. colbert for bringing attention to the question of workers in the field. we're not sure what will happen in return and what will appear on television -- and i know he would never take anything out of
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context. [laughter] i might as well quit while i am ahead. >> thank you, and your time is expired. i would like to introduce the panel of witnesses before us, and i will start by introducing dr. carol swain, a professor of science and political law at vanderbilt university, and member of the james madison society at princeton university. she received her bachelor's from roanoke college and her master's from virginia polytechnic institute. she holds a ph.d. from the iversity of north carolina, chapel hill. in 2000, she was awarded an m.l.s. from yale law school. she specializes in that race relations and is the author of several books, including her most recent, "debating
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immigration." next, i would like to introduce phil glaze, a third-generation fruit grower and former chairman of the apples association. he serves the interests of the entire american apple industry. he is an active member of the coalition for immigration reform. his family business grows, packs and ships apples, and has been producing apples since the 1920's. it is my pleasure to introduce our third witness, arturo rodri giez. since 1993, he has served as the
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president of the united farm workers, note first founded by cesar chavez. he holds a master's degree in social work from the university of michigan and has worked for the usw since 1973. he has oliver -- he has over 35 years of experience organizing former erskine negotiating contracts, and working for -- organizing farm workers, negotiating contracts, and working for fair wages and working conditions. finally, stephen colbert is a peabody award winning host of the comedy central television show, "the colbert report." he and his team have a one two emmys for outstanding -- have
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earned two emmys were outstanding writing. he recently teook a trip to a working farm to understand the circumstances of the american farm worker. each of you has prepared a written statement. those will be made part of our official record. at this point, we would like to summarize your statement and about five minutes. -- we would like you to summarize your statement in about five minutes. there is a machine on your table that will give you a green light when you have time and a red light when you should summarize and finish. we will go first to dr. swain.
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>> good morning. thank you for allowing me to testify on this important issue. i speak today on behalf of millions of americans w would like to see immigration laws vigorously enforced. i contend that america does not have a shortage of agricultural workers. instead, we have a manufactured crisis by some the web like to ensure a steady supply of cheap labor -- by some who would like to ensure a steady supply of cheap labor and bypass existing programs. a labor economist who has conducted extensive studies of farm labor has found a rise in
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production and a stagnant wawages for workers. if there were labor shortages for agricultural workers, one would expect to find rising wages andore attractive working conditions. one would not expect to find an unemployment rate of 10.8% in may and 7.9% in august. these figures indicate that there are native workers actively seeking employment in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. the majority of these workers have less than a high-school education. they work under the most strenuous conditions. there is a high turnover rate among these workers. agricultural workers often leave the farms or other low-wage, low skill cupations. there they compete directly with low skill americans for a
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dwindling supply of low-wage jo. the "take our jobs" iniative entirely misses the point. america cannot continue to bring in low-skilled guest workers to compete with the most disadvantaged americans, the poor whites, blacks, legal hispanics, and others whom are here legally. nor can it continue to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. often migration into the field migrates intother industries. without illegal labor, employers would be forced to pay higher wages and improve substandard working conditions. instead of paying $8 or $9 per hour, employers might be forced to pay $12 or $13. an increase in the wages ofarm
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workers would not substantially increase the average family's food bill. the average family's food bill would rise by about $8 per year. the take our jobs initiative mrs. the fact that in some parts of the country, native workers have successfully worked alongside immigrants. yesterday, i had aonversation with a businessman from nashville who ran a one-year experiment in arkansas involving sweet potato planting and harvesting. he invested ov a quarter of a million dollars of his own money to help unemployed americans get jobs in the field in an area of the country where unemployment is around 40% for african americans. his experiment involved the agricultural workers who are and a nati-born visas blacks.
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they were picked up, transported to the site, provided with facilitiesnd at decent wage. he noted no difference in the quality of work provided by the native-born black workers, and concluded that americans would do farm work if they had transportation and decent working conditions. even though he had a program that was providing jobs for unemployed americans, he could not get state or federal agencies to make an investment in this program. he would like to see an independent farm services company created to stand between the workers and the growers. they would hire the wkers, provide air-conditioned transportation, buses, a bathroom facilities, and served as a middleman between the bathroom workers and the growers. the "take our jobs" initiative has not made an effort to recruit american workers. this is a publicity stunt.
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we need to reform immigration. there is an oversupply of labor from foreign countries that works against the interests of native workers. it depresses our wages, reduces the opportunities, and deters employers from investing in native human capital. compounding these problems, native-born blacks and hispanics suffer more than any other groups. just look at the unemployment rate. it is in my testimony it is off the charts. this is a disgrace. congress needs to do something about reforming immigration and they need to protect the most disadvantaged americans. >> thank you very much. we turn now to mr. glaze for your testimony. >> i am honored to testify today
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on behalf of the u.s. apple association and the agricultural coalition for immigration reform. i am a third-generation fruit farmer with operations in virginia. we eloy from 30 to 155 workers, depending on the time of year. the fact that i appear before you today as a farmer with the president of u f w should send a very powerful message. we have a common problem. despite continued attempts at automation, apple's still need to be manually pruned and hand- picked. the work as physically demanding and a certain amount of skill is necessary. ple's bruce greatly -- apples bruise easily, and improper picking will greatly reduce the value of our crop.
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today, farmers rely on legal and illegal workers. without a solution, farms will fail. we will export jobs and lose our fo. government statistics tell us that 80% of farm workers are foreign-born, and half of those are unauthorized. only 2%, are coming in through the existing program. many believe that native-born workers will harvest american specialty crops, however, the take our jobs campaign is just the latest in a series of unsuccessful efforts in good and bad times, in michigan, washington, california and elsewhere to recruit americans into farm jobs.
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those of us struggling to harvest our crops are not surprised that take our jobs is only producing a handful of workers. it is not about hourly wages. farm workers can earn more picking apples and flipping burgers or stocking shelves in a big box store. the average worker on my farm earns $93 for a nine hour day. like so many agricultural jobs, and picking apples is highly seasonal. it is out in the the weather and demanding. i have a kicking bucket of apples here. i invite every member to come down and put it on, then understand what it is like to put that on 150 times per day going up and down a ladder. most people in this room understand that our immigration system is broken. some are trying to use the guest worker program but face huge obstacles and uncertainty.
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just last month, apple growers in the northeast had huge disaster when the state departme and immigration services put applications of hundreds of jamaican workers in jeopardy just days before the grower needed them to start harvest. members of congress intervened and the workers arrived at the last moment. a few more days of an action could have meant losses of $90 million for the growers. the program is a mess. the choice between using the dysfunctional program or hiring workers whose documents look good but may not be is untenable. in the u.s., we have a short window of a couple of months to get about t hundred million bushels of applesff the trees. as the apples ripen, there is about a five day window to pick them that the proper maturity. different varieties and strains allow us to manage the harvest over the course of 8-10 weeks. the arrival of workers has 8 --
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the delay of the arrival of workers have a domino effect. what is most worrisome to me as a grower is the reality that we could lose a large portion or even a whole crop if willing and able packers are not available. at harvest time, all but the picking costs have been invested. we are fully utilized. we have a labor investment that must be converted to cash. if we lose packers, we could easily be forced to liquidate part of our farm to pay lenders. this could happen quickly and without warning. one year is althe would take. the threat of losing farms and all of the jobs depended on them is worsening due to congressional inaction. at least 80,000 acres of high- value production workers have left california for arizona and mexico. 70% of producers report scaling back due to labor shortfalls. oranges are moving to mexico and
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brazil. china has requestedccess to our markets for fresh apples, and they already produce over half of the world apples. if the u.s. is starved for labor, the chinese are ready to step in. in the face of a crisis, retrieving lost production will not happen quickly. average profitabilityoes not really give a proper return given the risk that we take. for most of us, the reasons we stated our not economical. a major live goal for me is to ovide jobs to as many people as possible. i am compelled to be able to pass on our farm to someone who will take it. labor shortages are not going to find me a willing buyer. it is a serious economic problem that congress has not addressed for far too long. now is the time. i am extremely supported -- supportive of this legislation.
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comprehensive reform may be too politically charged right now. please focus on agricultural jobs and get it passed. >> good morning. i would like to thank the chairman and ranking members of the committee for holding this hearing. i am the president of the united farm workers of america. joining me today are five farm workers. i would like to ask them to stand up. isabel has 40 years working in the field. she started at age 12. he started at 14, 33 years working in the field. 14, working 43 years in the field. 17, started working, has 34 years working in the field.
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the very proud to be with all of them here today. today, across america, the harvest season is reaching its peak. more than a million men women and children are toiling in our nation's fields producing our fruits and vegetables. they are caring for our livestock. most americans have the luxury to operate in ignorance or denial about how the food we eat get on our table. agriculture in the united states is dependent on hard-working, dedicated, taxpaying immigrant work forces. three-quarters of all farm workers are born outside of the country today. these are the facts. america needs workers. everyone in this room is sustained by their labor every day. if you had a glass of florida orange juice with your breakfast this morning, it is almost certain the oranges that went into that jews were picked by unauthorized workers. -- thawent into that jewuice
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were picked bunauthorized workers. when we sit down to give thanks every day for the food at the table, most of that food has been hardest by unauthorized workers. -- harvested by unauthorized workers. the life of a farm worker is not easy. most live in poverty, poor working conditions, and without government assistance. they take jobs other americans won't do for pay other american workers want except under conditions other americans will not tolerate. who is to blame? it is not the farm workers' fault that 1 states do not even provide the basic protection of workers' compensation if they are injured at work. it is not the farm workers' fault that more than 70 years after the labor relations a, farmers still do not have a --
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farm workers still do not have a right to organize. it is not the farm workers' fault that year after year they violate the -- farmers violate the laws and avoid responsibility for those workers. there are risks and costs associated with the seasonal agricultural industry. if there is a freeze, as occurred many times recently in florida, thousands of workers are left without work. there is no unemployment assistance for those workers during that time. aorker is injured, oftentimes there is no real recurved -- real recourse. we, the united farm workers, initiated the "take our jobs" campaign. we invited legal citizens to apply for jobs at farms across the country, to supply our houses, restaurants and workplace cafeterias, including those at the nation's capital,
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with the fate that fuels the people of this great nation. we have received rs/6000 inquiries, but only seven people -- we have received over 6000 inquiries, but only seven people ha accepted jobs and continue to work in agriculture. the government estimates that u.s. agrulture wou need to hire at least 1 million citizens, legal residents, to replace the immigrant laborers. a mass deportation of agricultural workers would cause the collapse of the agricultural industry as we know it, and we feel that would have a severe impact on maintaining a very much needed industry in our society today, as well as providin american consumers with safe food. we continue our work. we urged that agricultural jobs the past year by the congress, that you seriously look at
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giving legal status to the farmers better year today. the growers, the employers, the agricultural industry is asking for a secure farm labor force. we think it is the obligation of this committee as well as this congress to take action immediately on that issue. now is the te for congress to the knowledge its role in creating what exists today as a farming crisis, and establish a real, lasting solution. it is time to consider the dignity of the farm labor work force and considered -- and since you're the safety and abundance of the arican food ensure the-- and in shor safety and abundance of the american food supply. >> can i just sayhat after listening to dr. swain i withdraw my previous request that i made to stephen.
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>> thank you. we turn now to mr. colbert for is five minutes of testimony. >> good morning. i am american citizen. it is an honor and privilege to be here today. the congresswomen asked me to share my vast experience, spending one day as a migrant farm worker. i am happy to use my celebrity to draw attention to this important, complicated issue. i certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the y up to c-span-1. as we heard this morning, american farms are far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables. the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. and, if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you'll see that many americans already started. unfortunately, my gastroenterologists has informed
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me in no uncertain terms that they are a necessary source of roughage. at evidence, and like to submit a video of my colonoscopy into the record. we all know there is a long history of great nations importing farmworkers to do their work. after all, it was the ancient israelites who built the first food pyramid. but this is america. i do not want a tomato picked by and mexican. i was picked by an american, sliced by guatemalans, served by a venezuelan, in a spot where it to land gives me a brazilian. chin a spa where at canda lean givese a brazilian. so, we do not want emigrant's doing this labor. i agree that we must secure our
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borders. who then would pick our crops? first of all, do not interrupt me when i am talking. that is rare. second, i object to the idea that farm work is one of the mythical jobs that americans will not do. really? and no americans? i did, as part of my ongoing series, "fallback positions," where i take on other jobs in order to realize that mine is way better. i am understand many democrats may be looking for work, november. i will admit. started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor. after working with these men and women, picking beans, packing corn for hours on end, side-by-
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side in the unforgiving sun, i have to say, please do not make me do this again. it is really,eally hard. for one thing, when you're picking beans, you ve to spend all d bending over. it turns out, and i did not know this, and most soil is at ground level. if we can put a mann the man, why can we not make earth ways to hide? come on. where is the funding -- why can we not make the earth waist- high? come on. where is the funding? normally i believe this to the invisible hand of the market, but the invisible hand has already moved over 22,000 farm jobs to mexico and shut down over 1 million acres of u.s. farmland due to lack of available labor. apparently, even the invisible hand it does not want to pick beans.
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i am not a fan of the government doing anything, but i have to ask, why isn't the government doing anything? maybe this bill would help. i do not know. like most members of congress, i have not read it. but maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants who, let's face it, will probably be doing the job anyway. this improved legal status might allow the recourse if they are abused. it stands to reason that your co-worker cannot be exploited, you're less likely to be exploited yourself, and that in itself might improve pay and working conditions on these farms, and eventually americans may consider taking these jobs again. maybe that is crazy. maybe the easy answer is to develop vegetables that pick themselves. the genetic engineers at fruit of the lamb have made great strides in human/fruit hybrids. the point is, we have to do something, because i am n
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going back outhere. at this point, i break into a cold sweat at the site of a salad bar. thank you for your time. i trust that following my testimony, both sides will work together on this issue in the best interests of the american people as you alwa do. [laughter] i am now prepared to take your questions and pose for pictures with your grandchildren. i yield the balance of my time. usa, number one. >> thank you very much. thank you to all of the witnesses for their testimony. we will now begin with questions. if mr. conyers is ready, i will recognize mr. conyers for questions or five minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate all of the testimony of all of the witnesses. that mr.o observe d
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submitted stayman was significantly different than the one he presented, but that -- submitted statement was significantly different than the presented, but that is a small detail. you spoke of a conversation you had with a grower who had a program to provide jobs to african-americans, but in your te that testimony you stay tha he closed the program because he could not get federal agencies or state agencies to provide money. it sounds like he could not make it profitable without government
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investment, right? >> k.i.a. invested a quarter of a million dollars of his on money -- he invested a quarter of a million dollars of his own money. he has worked with blanche lincoln on these issues. he is very much involved in issues affecting people that are disadvantaged. >> i know he is a good guy, but he could not get enough money, right? >> he could not get a federal official to invest in a program that was providing employment for americans. >> he could not get enough money, right? >> i do not understand your point. >> you do not have to understand the point. is it right or wrong? he did not get enough money, and that is why he went out of business, even though he had invested a lot of his money, he was a good guy. >> he did not go out of business. he has a well known, profitable company. he --
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>> but a closed the program. >> closed the program. >> why? >> because he could not get members of congress, state and local officials to be interested in the plight of disadvantaged americans. he spends his energies in other places. >> do you really know that? i do not know anybody on this committee or too many in the congress -- >>r. conyers, the black caucus is not representing african- american interests on this particular issue. >> i am glad maxine waters is not here today. [laughter] boy oh boy. [laughter] the point that this discussion comes down to is that dan
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lungren, my dear friend from california, former attorney general, he does not like the bill, but he does not have bill. steve king and i are forming a committee after word to make sure -- >> i do have a bill. >> you do have a bill? thank you. what is the number? well, we will find it. if you say you have one, your word is your bond. but steve king and i are forming a committee to recruit people. dr. swain, you are from vendor build. you must know that only 4 percent -- from vanderbilt. he mustnow that only 4% of the people doing this kind of labor or african americans, right? >> if americans -- >> right or wrong?
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>> they are being undercut by the surplus of cheap labor. >> i presume you are saying yes. >> i am not in a court of law, so i do not have to say yes or no. >> you are not under oath either. >> idea will get you will look at the suggestion -- i do hope that you will look at his suggesons. >> have you looked at mr. rodriguez's suggestions? >> i have read everyone's testimony. >> what do you think of his? he is representing the nine people in red shirts sitting in back of you. what do you think of his position? >> i would like to see nothing better than to see farmworkers'
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well-paid with decent working conditions. >> of course you do. but what do you think of the rodriguez position? are you in agreement with it? >> as long as the unemployment figures are 7.9% in the agricultural sector, i cannot agree that there is a shortage of workers. >> then i invite you to join me and mr. king on at this committee. >> i would love to work on immigration issues. >> will you join our committee after the hearing? >> i am not a member of congress. i represent the american people. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the ranking member hassked that we go next to mr. smith. >> dr. swain, thank you foyour excellent ttimony and for trying to answer the questions you have been asked. i have a couple more questions.
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the first is this. why are the interests of the american people not being better represented? >> i think it is because the american people are not organized and lobbying. most of them are trying to make a living. they are not in the pressure group that seems to have the most influence of congress. >> you regarding your testimony to the dangers of what we might call a "chain of guest workers." if they come in and are allowed tuesday they will probably take another job at higher pay -- allowed to stay, they will probably take anotherob at higher pay. what is the consequence of that? >> they work in hotels, restaurants. they do yard work. there is a displacement of american workers. whenever there is a crackdown, all of the jobs that we were told americans would not take,
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we see thousands of amecans lining up to take. there are employees -- there are employers that would prefer immigrant labor because it is easier to exploit. >> mr. colbert, let me ask you questions. first of all, i think he made some good points, particularly about democrats in november and the need for congress to rebuild. i am going to take that as an endorsement of the republicans pledged to america, because we have a provision in there that requires leadership to give 72 hours' notice of any bill that we have before we vote on it on the house floor. let me give you a second opportunity to be more serious, because i know you do take this subject seriously. i would like to ask about your experience when you worked one dain the fields of new york. how many other workers were with
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you that day? >> i did not take account. i am fuzzy with math. i would say 50. >> how many were in the field? >> about 100. >> how many were illegal and how many were legal? >> i did not ask them for their papers. >> there might well have been illegal workers there, is that correct? >> i do not know. >> then it is hard to say they were all illegal. my point is, if some of them are legal, and i presume they were, that shows that americans were willing to do those jobs. do you know how much they were paid? >> even if they were legal, i do not know if they were american citizens. >> how much were they paid by the hour? >> i do not know. i did not do a good enough job
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to get paid, can i guess the salary. >> they need to do a good job to get paid. i know you are an expert comedian and entertainer. i know you have a great sense of humor. would you call yourself an expert witness when it comes to farm labor issues or not? >> i believe i was invited here today by the congresswomen because i was one of 16 people who took the united farm workers up on the experience of having migrant farm work for a single day. if there are other members of the committee did that, there is no purpose of me being here. >> does oneay make you an expert witness? >> i believe that one day of me studying anything makes me an expe. [laughter] >> it is more work and then you have ever done before?
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>> it is certainly harder work and then guess. >> is it harder than the comedy show. >> it is absolutely harder than punditry. >> and you do not want to return to it? >> i do not even want to watch green acres anymore. >> i am happy you are here and i think you make a good point. >> i do endorse all republican policies without question. >> including the requirement to have 72 hours to read the bill before voting on it? >> absolutely. >> thank you for your endorsement. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. i would turn out to the gentle ladyrom texas, ms. sheila jacksolee.
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>> thank you. i think this is essential hearing, and i thank the witnesses for being here. i do not disagree with you, and dr. swain. i think we should not turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. we should engage. we have tried to fairly engage in the question of illegal immigration by putting forward a plan of comprehensive immigration reform bill that addresses the question of a process, if you will, of access to citizenship. over the years, we have talked up the importance of providing a widespread view of americans and
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creating jobs, and ensuring that there is an investment in the skills of americans. we probably do not disagree on that. we find ourselves, however, in the political climate where if wright was rht and truth was truth, you could not find on this committee a bartisan pathway to be able to effectively deal with fixing the immigration system. doing some of the things that you have said. which means that we could, in fact, members on this side of the aisle have agreed. weould take some of those fees and invest in training. we did that, training nurses, training farmworkers, training others that happen to be, as you have declared, people here in the united states. we wish we could take up your challenge, because that would be
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the right thing to do. but we find ourselves in a dilemma where we cannot get anyone that is on the other side of the aisle to look reasonably at the crisis that we face. to mr. colbert, the last sentence in your testimony is something i agree with. you truly know a man when you have walked a mile in his shoes, and you have been gnted a sliver of insight. i want to pose a series of questions and start first with mr. rodriguez. mr. rodriguez, howdy rebut the comments tt your effort was a bogus -- how do you agree but the comments that your effort was a bogus effort?
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>> we came up with this idea in a meeting with se of the farm workers i just introduced to you. we wanted to sensitize and inform the american public about this issue in a way that everyone could hopefully better understand. as a result of that, the workers came up with the suggestion. let's invite legal citizens, politicians, policy makers to come and work in the fields so that they can understand that farm workers are not here, immigrant workers are not her to take away american jobs. as a result of that and some discussion, we came up with the idea of "take our jobs." we got a very interesting response from people upon doing that. when mr. colbert decided to invite is on t show to talk about that, it gave more like to that particular issue.
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-- a light to that particular issue. >> she said you were not serious. >> we were very serious. >> is the program still in place? >> we have people dedicated every day to listening to individuals that call in to us, checking our website, trying to assess it -- >> so you are serious about it. mr. colbert, i take it that you have had enough experience -- are you speaking only to farm workers or do you see the value in answering the call of dr. swain? do you think it is long overdue for this nation to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan that looked at all aspects of those who are undocumented who are seeking an opportunity, particularly young people who need to access our colleges and
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schools? >> i think there are way too many undocumented mexican workers here in the united states doing jobs. i think we have to ignore the issue for too long. i think it is time to roll up our sleeves and face this issue mano a -- whatever the spanish word for mano is. >> i hope this hearing will lead tono job should be diminished. the workers that are behind you -- their job is not diminished. but then we can work with each other and tell america that we're working together. >> the gentle lady's time has expired. i just want to note for the ranking member spat the democratic rule is that --
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ranking members that the democratic rule is that all bills be posted before 72 hours on the internet. i now yield for your questions. >> tnk you, madam chair. since i have no life, i actually do read the bills, including the health care bill. i also read the arizo law, unlike some peoe in the administration. i want to thank you all for being here. it is good to see a fellow texan. there're a couple of issues. one, legal immigration vs illegal immigration. legal workers versus illegal. i think that the problem is the illegal workers. if the country needs more legal immigrants to work, that is an issue that needs to be solved to the answer is not just to allow more illegals into the country.
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the answer is to solve the legal process to come here as a migrant worker. that seems to be the problem that should be solved. the other issue is wages. based on your written testimony, a person that works in the field can make up to $3 or $360 per week -- $300 or three in a $60 per week. a person can draw unemployment as a citizen of up to $390 per week. if americans are not employed and receiving unemployment and the wages are soow in the farm industry, they lose the motivation to work because people in the farm industry are underpaid, whether they are legal or illegal. as far as jobs that americans won't do -- i represent southeast texas. i represent people that work off
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shore. talk about hard jobs. those jobs are very tough for americans to do, but they do that because they get compensated for the work that they do. low wages seems to be the issue here, not whether or not we should allow people to stay in the country or be in the country illegally. low wag, fix the process to let people come in if we need the workers, and deal with a 14 million unemployed americans, 4.5 million which -- of which are drawing up to $390 of unemployment for up to 99 weeks. i want to go back to dr. swain and ask her to rectify and resolve the issues i have just mentioned. i represent a great number of minorities in texas.
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14% of them are unemployed. how would you see a system to create fair wages, which is where everybody is paying taxes, not just some people -- how would you see congress moving in the direction regarding legal immigrants to work and getting more americans working? >> i think the first thing that we need to do is, as i said before, enforce the existing law and to put in the e-verify program that the federal government already has. many people voluntarily sign up for that program. if that program was mandatory across the country, it would create opportunities for american workers. there are millions of illegal immigrants that are working on the payrolls that should not
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have jobs. these are jobs that should go to american workers. i think we need to enforce the laws that are on the books and then see how much surplus labor we may need. if we have a labor shortage after we enforce the law, then we need to look at the guest worker programs and see how to change them. it should be easier for people to come to the united states legally. we should reward those that do with the right way and not allow their interests to somehow be -- the interest of people who come hereegally seem to get the worst end of the deal. i have friends who are immigrants who that tried to do with the right w. many of them feel like it would give a better deal if they were to fall out of status and become a legal rather than try to do it legally. i would like to respond to the comment about the take our jobs
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initiative. the very fact that they named it take our jobs is a deterrent. the name itself implies that the jobs belong to someone else. the immigrants are saying take our jobs. i do not know many people without would want to take a job that belongs to someone else -- do not know many people who would want to take a job that belongs to someone else. >> mr. rodriguez, in the farm worker industry, approximately how many people in the industry to more foreign nationals are legally here or illegally here? can you give me a percentage? >> shore. the estimate by the federal government and the department of labour is about 53%. based on my own experience, it is probably more like 70% for unauthorized workers in the agricultural work force today. >> one last comment. they agree with dr. swain and
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that we need to fix the legal immigration system. it is too complicated. it takes too long. i will yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. >> i will now return to the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. i find this hearing to be most interesting. the question of whether or not immigrant workers are taking jobs from americans and african- americans have been mentioned a lot here today. i'so pleased to hear that so many people are interested in african-americans getting jobs. i am also interested in the fact that all of a sudden, we' hearing discussion about increased wages. one of the biggest troubles we have had in this congress is increasing the minimum wage to this is very enlightening to me
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-- increasing the minimum wage. this is very enlightening to me as i listen to some my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. there are americans and african- americans who would work on me of these jobs. let me just assure you, for the people in my district, this is not a high priority for the kind of jobs they would like to have. i imagine the very desperate ones would take some of the jobs for a limited time, if it concerns survival. but if i had to support subsidizing corporations to hire workers, i would not puty emphasis on farm labor. i would put my emphasis on construction jobs. for example, in my district, a lot of young people who are not well-educated asked for and seek
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out the opportunity to work on construction js. we had one program that was laying fiber optics. many of the young people did not have skills learned to do this kind of work. whether we're talking about construction or communication, training is available and possible. i would subsidize employers to bring those jobs. i would also subsidize employers to bring jobs from offshore back into the united stes where they would be in the inner cities and entered- urban areas. this business of tking about transportation from urban areas to rural areas is just unreal. it is not something that is workable. so, i would like to focus a
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little bit on comprehensive immigration reform. i think that is really what we should be talking about. i would likeo ask my friend, mr. rodriguez, that i have known for many years and am proud to say that i was in the california legislature when howard berman led the way on all of the reforms that we did for immigrant workers, working with cesar chavez. i think he was one of the most profound organizers of our time. leme ask you, in the immigration reform, if we talk about allowing citizenship to be made available to farm workers, how would you frame that? would you say that, if you have been here working without papers for four years, five years, two, 10, you should be afforded citizenship?
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how would you do that? >> thank you very much, congressman -- congresswoman waters. we have a solution in the legislation that mr. berman and the other member of the congress, adam putnam, had put together and fashioned to deal with the agricultural industry as physically. a worker who worked 150 days in agriculture in the previous two years would be allowed to become part of the abbey jobs program -- ag jobs program. it would not get automatic legalization. it would be put into a program -- they would not get automatic legalization. they would be put into a program for the next three to five years. they would pay outport of $500 million of fines for being here and coming into the country and documented. -- on document -- undocumented.
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would use the -- >> would you support significant fines for emplers who break the law? >> once we get this settled, i think there should be an enforcement policy put into place to make sure we do not have continued immigrants coming in violating the laws. >> do you think there are some immigrants who shoulbe deployed -- deported for some reason, whether they are crimals? >> if the immigrant has a violated serious loss, yes, that is a reason for their deportation. >> would you support immigration reform? some way of keeping families together where you have undocumented immigrants who have been here for some time, children going here, -- children born here, and then the mother
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or father is faced with deportation. how would you deal with that? >> the gentle la's time has expired. we will ask the witness to answer. >> i would support anything that keeps families together. that is the basis of our families -- our society. immigrant families want to be together. >> we now turn to mr. lungren. >> thank you very much. there is a democratic caucus rule of 72-hour notice. you ought to inform your leadership. just three weeks ago, i received thattice of a bill contained part of a bill that i had introduced to get rid of the 1099 requirements on small business that is in the alth care bill. our leadership was given 10 seconds notice.
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>> will the gentleman yield? >> i am happy to if the lady will give me more than 10 seconds. >> is not a general rule. it is a democratic rule. >> so there is an exception to the calendar. >yes. let's just make it clear that 10 seconds is not 72 hours. perhaps you ought to inform your leadership. i would like to ask mr. rodriguez this. if you estimate that 75% of those working in the fields are here illegally, 25% are here legally. how are you able to attract that -- how are we able to attract that 2 since their presumably subjt to the same price structure and working conditions as the others? >> thank you marie much. -- very much.
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there are thousands of people who are working here legally. they have worked hard. they have worked wh employers they enjoy working with. theynjoy their work. they continue to do so. they have good wages and good benefits, medical plans, pension e wages and appropriate or conditions. -- and a corporate working conditions -- and appropriate working conditions. >> i think that is part of it. >> my question is -- i am trying
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to work this out and figure out if your premise is that we do not have people going into the fields because americans will not take those jobs, and then you tell me that 25% of those people in the fields are americans, my question is, how were we able to successfully attract them? is it different than the conditions and wages available to the other 75%? could we attract a larger number of americans are replicating what we do for the 25%? >> our solution is realistic and practical. the agricultural industry needs workers now. they have a workforce that they worked with and have worked with for many years. we're asking to give them the opportunity to have legal status in this country. the result of that, the conditions will improve, the wages will improve the likelihood of amerin consumers having good, safe food will also be improved.
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>> is it absolutely essential to the agricultural jobs bill that the people who would benefit from it on the workers side are allowed to be on the path to citizenship and thereby be put in front of the law and others to follow the law -- and others who follow law? >> they will not be put in front of the line. they wou have to continue to work for the next thre to five years in the agricultural to qualify to even get a green card. they would not give a green card until after they had been able to demonstrate their continued ability to work in the agricultural for certain amount of time. then it would be able to get a green card, which does not put them in front of the line, but gives them the opportunity -- >> let me ask another question. one of the major countries as mexico.
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how long does one have to wait inexico if one wants to get in line for legal entry into the united states and work toward a green card? >> i have no idea. workers that i work with, unfortunately, come in a diffent way. >> that is the question about the front of the line. if people have to work 3, 5, 8, 10 years to get legally, and these people qualify automatically, they are qualifying -- they are being put in front of the line. is it essential to your program that they be put on the path toward citizenship, as opposed to another type of legal status? >> the jones time has expired -- the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you for your efforts to fix this problem. it is essential that the workers that are here now be allowed to have work authorization for x
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number of years. the ag jobs contemplates fixing one program. let's figure out how to legally bring workers to pick crops. that is of utmost importance. i cannot afford to lose a crop for one year. the saddest on the road is part of our american -- status down the road is part of our american willingness to extend our country. putting them at the front of the line -- they do not go to the front of the line. they will have work authorizations for some years, then they can seek their citizenship. >> thank you. i recognize the gentle lady from california, miss sanchez. >> thank you. thank you to all the panelists. i have heard smany interesting, and somewhat outrageous, claims today.
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i kind of do not even know where to begin with some of the questioning. i want to start by making an observation. as some members of the panel have suggested, these workers are taking jobs that americans want. if that is true, i would expect there would be zero unemployment in the agricultural sector. i would expect that many americans would be rushing during this tough economic time to take these jobs. and yet, mr. rodriguez, how many people actually inquired about going down to take a job in the fields? >> about 3 million hits on our web site since june 24 -- website since june 24. of that group, 8600 were serious about trying to apply. of that group, we have documented seven people that are actually working in the fields right now. >> have that seven remained in the field?
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>> as far as we know, yes. >> that is a huge dropoff between in greece and actually people whoigned up -- between the inquiries and the actual people who signed up. >> absolutely. >> to take your jobs campaign -- i have a hard time believing that if you called it take a job campaign that those 8000 people would be working in the field today. that is my personal opinion. i do not think the semantics, once people figured out what the work entails, that is where the big drop off came in. is that an accurate assessment? >> we did not go to experts to design this campaign. as i mentioned earlier, it was farm workers who suggested that we invite people to come and work in the fields. they are tired of hearing the criticism that as far and workers and immigrants, they're
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taking away american jobs. >> thank you. i am sorry to cut you off. just want to get through these questions. i am hearing from colleagues on the other side of the aisle and some panelists that the reason why americans do not te these jobs is because the pay is not high enough. the working conditions are bad. i think it is interesting. correct me if i am wrong, but most agricultural workers are not covered by workers' compensation law, minimum wage a law, or overtime law, the right to organize. am i correct? >> yes, you are. >> if you really want to wait just to go up in this industry, as you say you do, so that american workers will want this -- if you really want the wages to go up in this industry, as you say you do, so that american workers will want these jobs, it seems like there should be reformed. we have votes taken in congress
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on specific things that would help raise wages for workers like the minimum-wage increase, increasing the federal minimum wage increased -- over two years. i know that some of my colleagues voted no on the bill. i find it sort of contradictory that they would now be saying that we just need to be higher. when we try to raise the wages for workers across the country, they vote no. >> will the gentle lady yield? >> i will not. i have questions to ask. you spoke of the number of farms, including in my home state of california, who were considering moving their operations overseas. can you talk in greateretail about why a farmer would move operations to another country and what that does to our local economies in this country when
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they relocate? how can we reduce the incentive for those farmers to relocate in other countries? >>hank you, congresswoman. i am essentially a small business person. i need to make a profit. i operate by supply and demand. world supply. essentially, if a farmer is going to not able torow, harvest compaq, sell at a profit, then that farm is going to go out of business. that food will come from somewhere else. our apples compete with chalet and apples right now -- to lay and apples -- chilean apples right now if i cannot continue to grow, produce, and sell at a profit, i will go out of business. i will have nothing to pass on. >> everybody supported by the
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business would be losing their jobs. >> certainly. >> what would they he to pay you to get you to do that job? >> whatever thie sag rate is. [laughter] >> i have accumulated a list of things that i need to rebu not least of which is the minimum wage position. mr. glaize paces workers $93 a day for $9 -- nine hours of work.
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yet miss sanchez says there are not laws that ag apply that a workers. -- not laws that apply to ag workers. there is inconsistent russia now. the evidence is right here. -- the is inconsistent application now. there must be reason he pays more than the minimum wage. it is called supply and demand. i am sure doctors went to the address that context. -- i am sure dr. swain could address that context. i her spend more time and labor than anybody else in this panel. -- i have spent more time on labor than anybody else on this panel. i know that i cut to shore up more time and produce more workers per hour or somebody would be -- i knew that i would need to show up on time and produce more work per hour or somebody would take that job.
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if someone could not dig and they had to stop and rest on the shovel, somebody would be sitting there waiting to take the job right arm of their hand. the back of the line piece of this -- mr. rodriguez's testifies that they would go to the back of the line. it is important that we understand where that is. if you look at the lines in each of the countries where people have illegal applied to come to america -- and i have great respect for those who want to achieve the american dream -- but that line is about 50 million long if you add up the accumulated vises in various varieties -- visas in the various ridings. we know it could take up to nine years. it takes a long time to bring in even a family member. if we're point to talk about the back of the lion, it is behind
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the 50 million -- if we are going to talk about the back of the line, it is behind the 50 million, not in front. thfine started out at $0.10 to seven under $50, then perhaps $1,0. -- the fine started out at $500 and went to $750 then perhaps to $15. the thing about this subject is -- perhaps to $1,500. the thing we're talking about here israel ruled law. the 72-hour law says that mr. lungren donna bragg
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>> perhaps eisenhower was the last of ministration that has advanced immigration law. the6 amnesty act said this would be the last amnesty ever. ronald reagan was honest. he said he was signing an amnesty bill. i believed him. i have the records we kept. nobody showed up to look at those documents. the enforcement diminished administration after administration. there is now contempt for the rule of law. we now have this debate before the panel. it seems to argue that we should simply disregard all of the law breaking. the argument i have heard is that we cannot enforce the law appeared we can and we must reestablish the rule of law.
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i do n suggest we chase people up and put them in home -- put them in trains to send them back to their country. i suggest we enforce the law with the cooperation of local law enforcement officials. i suggest that we look to each other, our neighbors, and understand if somebody is standing on the line, on the clock, being paid, and unlawfully working in the united states, they are taking jobs that a legal worker could do. this country has an oversupply of under skilled labor. that is what the people that grow up around me that decided they did not want to go on and get higher education can no longer punch the clock and made the same -- make the same money that a educated hi-school teacher does. as watched the gavel start to move, rather than ask a question, i will make a point. i watched, mr. colbert, the
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video of you packing beans. i saw you unpacking corn. i will assume you ran the film back wwards. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> madam chair, could he be given a minute or two to respond? >> i did not actually ask the question. i do not think i disparaged him. >> perhaps mr. gonzales will give the witness a minute of his time. mr. gonzales is now recognized for five minutes. >> do you wish to respond? >> i did not understand the statement. or you implying that i was not actually doing the work that i was depicted as doing? >> with the gentleman yield?
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-- would the gentleman yield? >> you often just talk to each other. >> i will. >> thank you for yielding. i only made the points that, in watching the film on youtube, of you working on the farm. i saw you with the corn. in iowa, we know corn. that is what we do. i know there is corn brought in and i thought it was curiousn that farm when you were unloading a crate, rather than loading it. it looked like it was going the wrong direction. i only presume that they must have run the film back worwards.
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>> which direction was the corn going? >> i want to make sure if i get this answer wrong, i cannot be held for perjury. i was a corn packer. i put it inhe truck and packed it to keep it at 38 degrees so it coul -- would not go to starch. i know tha the term "corn packer" can be offensive for gay iowans and i hope i did not offend anyone. >> i will reclaim my time. [laughter]
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most of us here are lawyers. we talk about the role of a law combination of law, not men. -- we talk about the rule of of law, nottion f men. the only solution for anyone here who does not have legal status -- that is an illegal -- is deportation. do you agree with that? should one size fits all -- fit all? one punishment for all. if you're not here legally, you shall be deported. >> it is my understanding that the cases are observed individually by an administrative judge who has the discretion to look at particular circumstances. there are people who accidentally fall into illegal
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status. >> no. we're talking about a foreign worker who came here in violation of our globs -- our laws to pick our fruits and vegetables. >> if they come here illegally and they were aware of the law -- >> from my experience, i come from a city that has many immigration cases, i have been told that if you came here illegally, misrepresenting your status, in any way, you are barred from remaining in this country. let's assume that i am right and the judge has no discretion. should the judge have discretion other than deportation? >> i think we should enforce the law or change them if we're uncomfortable with enforcing them. >> we're trying to understand immigration reform. equal justice under the law.
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sometimes the alleged abuse does not work. they're not applicable -- sometimes the law does not work. they are not applicable. if you are of a like mind with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, let me ask you this. >> can ask you something? >> let me just finish. they used most of my time. >> i am sorry. >> the death penalty is the ultimate punishment. here, it is that you get deported. there are a couple of parties to the action. why do we close a business that is employing of these indiduals? wetop them on the wrist, give them a fine, place them on probation. if you treat the employee in the absolute, why would you not do that to the employer? why do we have a range of a punishment for the employer, but
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not for the employee? you're telling me who was being exploited and victimize. you seem to agree on tho principles that wages are somehow depressed, working conditions deplorable, and until they improve, we're not going to have a domestic labor market. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i would throw the employers in jail if it were up to me. they do get slapped on the wrist. they are part of the problem. it has to be addressed. the problem i have with the way the democrats seem to be defining "comprehensive immigration reform" is that it seems to not include what i would consider a comprehensive approach. you look at all of the aspects. "crosstalk -- [crosstalk]
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guest: >> she knows better to use the word -- than to use the word "amnesty." we turn to the gentle lady from california. >> ranking member smith questions mr. colbert's expertise as a witness. in the past, republicans have had witnesses who played hot lips houlihan from "m.a.s.h." and clint eastwood to testify. republicans have invited elmo to talk about music education. on another note, mr. colbert, thank you for attending this hearing and highlighting the plight of farm workers.
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the situati is dire. for the state of california, i heard about the case where he came from mexico for better life and took a job that few americans wanted to do. every day in the hot summer months, he picked grapes or 10 hours straight in -- for 10 hours straight in 105 degree temps. he fell ill. rather than call the ambulance, they told his son to drive him home. he died of heat stroke on the way home at the age of 53. there have been 23 reported deaths since 2001 -- those are the reported. this was the last straw. i helped care legislation for
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shade and water on every farm so that workers can be protected. the anyone talk about working conditions having to do with -- did anyone talk about work conditions having to do with heat, water, or shade? >> thank you for the question. we did not talk that much. i do not speak spanish mary well. they seemed very busy with the beans and corn. i tried to get them to sing and they did not seem to want to. i tried to find out about their working conditions as far as medical services, health care, breaks. they seem to be working the entire time. >> did you experience any of these issues pertaining to keep? -- heat?
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>> it was very hot. it was harder than i like to be -- hotr than i like to be. >> why would any american want to work in a job like this? >> i believe that americans are tough and they do tough jobs. it is not a job i want to do. not a lot of people took mr. rodriguez up on his offer. from the statistics that my researchers found, it seems there is a lack of labor in parts ofhe united states. it seemso say that americans do not want to take these jobs. i do not want to say definitively that they will not. >> you could work on some issues, why this one? >> i like talking about people who do not have any power. this seems like some of the least powerful people in the united states -- the migrant
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workers to come and do our work, but do not have any results -- any rights as a result. we still and i tend to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. -- we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. this seems like the least of our brothers. a lot of people fall into that category because the economy is so hard. i do not want to diminish anyone's part ship. migrant workers suffer -and have no rights. >> thank you. in response to ms. swain, i would say that, according to the recent data, 8.8 million workers work for minimum wage, many of them in undesirable jobs. according to urinalysis, if we paid americans more, they would be -- according to your analysis, if we paid american
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more, they would be willing to work in this field. but they still do not do that. i think it's as a lot. i yield back. >> i will now recognize myself for five minutes. i think this has been a very interesting and helpful hearing. as i have listened to my colleagues, i have heard really a plea that we upgrade the conditions of migrant farm workers. as i listened to miss sanez, i thought i might introduce a bill that provides for the rights of t farm rightso or -- the rights of farm workers to organize. we would make sure that farm workers -- migrant farm workers
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are covered by workers' compensation. the minimum wage laws -- they should also be covered by overtime laws. i am hoping when i do, those who have spoken so passionately about the need to upgrade conditions for farmworkers, will be among the first to ask to co- sponsor that bill. i will be working with ms. sanchez to do that. in my career, prior to being in congress, i actually was an immigration lawyer at one time. i talked immigration law part- time -- taught immigration l.a. debut part time. congress makes the loss -- i taught immigration law part- time. congress makes the laws.
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we allocate 5000 visas a year. when people say you ought to do with the legal way, i think they probably doot know there are only 5000 visas per year. we have 2 million farm workers. i do think it is important that we make available all jobs to the people who are here. as the campaign has shown, there are some jobs that are not a good fit for people who are not employed. pa of the pblem is that these are seasonal, migrant jobs. i was very pleased to go to new york and look with mr. au pair -- mr. colbertt the farm there. i am mindful of my trip to the strawberry farm outside my district where, luckily, the
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farm workers are represented by the united farm workers. those migrant farm workers $90,000 per00 to year. they have health care benefits. -- $18,000 to $19,000 per year. they have health care benefits. employers are not able to get americans to take these jobs. they are killer jobs. i picked strawberries. we can say it is a good idea or a bad idea, but that is just the reality. reading the testimony in understanding the number of farms that have simply folded, it has implications for the entire american work force, upstream, downstream. we have 3 too 4 js -- to 4 jobs that americans are doing
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for every farm worker that is here. if the farms clothes and go offshore -- close and go offshore, its not just a farm workers who are displaced, it also affects the americans who are relying on that food. i would like to thank the witnesses. people do not realize that they are often volunteers who are here to help me a better country, to help congress understand an issue better. each of you has done that today. i thank you for doing so. thank the members. the record remains open for 5 legislative days so that members may submit marial. members may have additional questions for the witnesses that will also be submitted within
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five days. if that should occur, we would request respectfully that the response be forthcoming. with that, thank you to the witnesses and members for their participation. we adjourn this committee. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> thank you. lovely to meet you. thank you very much. >> thanks very much. >> are you glad you came? >> yeah, i learned a lot.
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>> are you worried about trivializing these issues? >> [inaudible] >> bruce jones, you're in bars
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or to the u.s. secretary general. credeur, ill. americans view of what constitutes brian powell. what constitutes brian powell.
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